VOLVO C30 TO MAKE WTCC DEBUT
The new Volvo C30 in Super 2000 is ready to make its maiden appearance in the FIA WTCC at Brands Hatch.
The Swedish car entered by the Volvo Olsbergs Green Racing and driven by Robert Dahlgren is fitted with a bio-ethanol fuel-powered engine. Because the car runs in the Swedish Touring Car Championship on the basis of national homologation, it will be admitted to take part at Brands Hatch with a special authorization by the FIA Touring Car Bureau and therefore Dahlgren will not be eligible to score championship points.
During their current STCC season, Dahlgren and his Volvo C30 have claimed three pole positions so far and are lying 11th in the Drivers' Championship.
"We are excited to come to Brands Hatch. This race was on the 'to-do-list' in our plan for the C30 from start. We wanted this as a check point to see how far we have come against the best," sayd Derek Crabb, Motorsport Director at Volvo Car Corporation. "We strongly believe the Volvo C30 may become a very competitive car in any FIA Super 2000 championship."
ROUTE TO: BRANDS HATCH, UK
The 13th and 14th rounds of the FIA WTCC will take place next week at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit, located some 30 km South East of London. It is the third consecutive year the championship visits the racetrack.
Being a regular venue of the British Touring Car Championship, Brands Hatch is very well known by a number of WTCC competitors, starting with the local boys: James Thompson, Robert Huff and Andy Priaulx. Thompson has won here four times; Huff also tasted victory at Brands Hatch during his first year of the BTCC in 2004. Reigning world champion, Priaulx finally grabbed his first touring car win at the Kent circuit last year in the WTCC's Race 2.
Other WTCC drivers to have scored wins at Brands Hatch include former BTCC champions Alain Menu, Gabriele Tarquini and Yvan Muller. The Swiss is the recordman, with seven BTCC victories between 1995 and 2000 and two WTCC sucesses: in 2006 (Chevrolet's maiden victory in the championship) and 2007. Before winning the 2006 WTCC's Race 1 for SEAT, Muller had already won four times here. As for the current leader Tarquini, he scored four consecutive wins at Brands in 1994.
TARQUINI LEADS BY ONE POINT
Brands Hatch marks the beginning of the second half of the championship's season.
With twelve of the twenty-four rounds in the archives, ten different drivers have managed to claim victory so far. Only two of them - Ganriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro - have been able to win twice.
Despite remaining pointless in Estoril, Tarquini is still leading the Drivers' Championship; however his margin went down to only one point ahead of Yvan Muller. Rickard Rydell completes the SEAT Sport trio on top trailing by 10 points. BMW's Andy Priaulx and Chevrolet's Robert Huff are the first non-SEAT men in the classification, with gaps of 15 and 22 points respectively.
In the Manufacturers' Championship, SEAT lead from BMW by 37 points. Sergio Hernandez of Proteam Motorsport leads the Independents' Trophy, 5 points from team-mate Stefano D'Aste, with Pierre-Yves Corthals a further 6 points adrift.
YVAN MULLER LADEN BY 70 KILOS
In Estoril SEAT Sport's Gabriele Tarquini was the first driver to receive the maximum 70-kg success ballast. But after remaining scoreless in Portugal the championship leader will go down to 58, leaving to his team-mate and closer chaser Yvan Muller the dubious honour to carry the maximum ballast. Another SEAT Sport man - Rickard Rydell, currently third in the points - will be laden by 68 extra kilos, with BMW's Andy Priaulx and Chevrolet's Nicola Larini the only other drivers to carry 50 or more kilos of ballast.
A total of twenty drivers will have success ballast in Estoril, including the race-by-race entries Robert Dahlgren, Aytac Biter, Kristian Poulsen and Lourenco Beirão da Veiga who will receive 30 kilos each according to article 79 c) of the Sporting Regulations.
Success ballast - United Kingdom
70 kg Y. Muller
68 kg R. Rydell
58 kg G. Tarquini
53 kg A. Priaulx
50 kg N. Larini
49 kg T. Monteiro
46 kg R. Huff
34 kg J. Gene
30 kg K. Poulsen, R. Dahlgren, L. Beirão da Veiga, A. Biter
28 kg J. Muller, F. Porteiro
27 kg A. Farfus
23 kg A. Menu
18 kg A. Zanardi
10 kg T. Coronel
3 kg J. Thompson
1 kg O. Tielemans
A FIELD OF 28 WITH BEIRÃO AND BITER
The WTCC will have a field of 28 cars in Brands Hatch. Besides Dahlgren's Volvo the championship will welcome two more newcomers: Lourenco Beirão da Veiga and Aytac Biter.
Beirão da Veiga, a 29 year-old driver from Lisbon, has won his participation at the wheel of a SUNRED SEAT Leon through the SEAT Eurocup. The Portuguese youngster claimed victory in the second race at Estoril and emerged as the best driver in his home event.
Biter, from Turkey, will join his fellow countryman Ibrahim Okyay in the Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport's second BMW 320si car. He has already tested with the team, three weeks ago at Monza.
ANDY PRIAULX IN F1 DEMO LAPS
Reigning World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx will return behind the wheel of a Formula One car during the WTCC race at Brands Hatch.
"It is always a highlight for me to race in front of my home crowd and I'm looking forward to giving the fans something to cheer about, both in the WTCC races and the F1 car," said Priaulx who will drive the BMW Sauber F1 car during two sessions: on Saturday at 14.00 and on Sunday at 15.30.
Priaulx last tested a Formula One car in 2005 when BMW co-operated with the Williams F1-team.
EUROSPORT COVERAGE FROM BRANDS HATCH
Qualifying - LIVE Eurosport 2, 16.00/16.45
Warm up - LIVE Eurosport 2, 11.00/11.30
Race 1 - LIVE Eurosport International, 12.45/13.45
Race 2 - LIVE Eurosport International, 14.15/15.00
Times are CET (Central European Time)
COUNTDOWN: - 9 DAYS